Virtual Book Club – Spooky Sci Fi and Fantasy Books

What better way to celebrate spooky season than reading some scary books? This time, instead of your standard haunted houses and paranormal happenings, we’re looking at mash-ups of horror with science fiction and fantasy. 

Click any of the book covers below to be taken to our catalog, where you can request a copy of the book with your library card number and PIN. We’ve also included links to our e-media services Overdrive and Hoopla where available. 

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer catalog link

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer 

The Southern Reach trilogy is the creepy love child of science fiction and metaphysical horror. A group of women explore Area X, a mysterious, ever-expanding, and reality-warping region, where previous explorers have disappeared without a trace. Follow up this short book with the sequels, Authority and Acceptance.

Annihilation Overdrive link

The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling catalog link

The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling 

Gyre Price lied her way to a caver position on a strange planet. As she plumbs the depths of the caves, she realizes that something is off. Her handler topside omits information as it suits her, supplies aren’t where they are supposed to be, and Gyre can’t shake the feeling that someone is following her in the dark.

The Luminous Dead Overdrive link

The Luminous Dead Hoopla link

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins catalog link

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

Carolyn and a dozen other children being raised by “Father,” a cruel man with mysterious powers, begin to think he might be God, so when he dies, they square off against each other to determine who will inherit his library, which they believe holds the power to all Creation.*

The Library at Mount Char Overdrive link


The Red Tree by Caitlín R. Kiernan catalog link

The Red Tree by Caitlín R. Kiernan

After discovering an unfinished manuscript hidden in an old house, Sarah becomes obssessed with the subject of the work–an ancient oak on a desolate corner of the property– and risks both health and sanity to uncover its secret.*

The Red Tree Overdrive link


The Changeling by Victor LaValle  catalog link

The Changeling by Victor LaValle 

Resolving to commit to marriage and parenthood unlike the father who abandoned him, Apollo Kagwa, who suffers from bizarre dreams, is shocked when his wife commits an act of astounding violence before disappearing, compelling Apollo’s odyssey through a world he barely understands.*

The Changeling Overdrive link


*Plot summaries courtesy of Novelist.

Check back next week for another installment of the Virtual Book Club!

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

This week we have a collection of autobiography, romance, mystery, historical fiction, and much more for you to choose from. You can also find topics such as music, family life, and animals… Enjoy!

Silent Bite by David Rosenfelt – Finally getting into the Christmas spirit, lawyer Andy Carpenter, while running a dog rescue organization, which is his true passion, agrees to help his partner prove the innocence of a man wrongly accused of murder.

Jingle All the Way by Debbie Macomber – Urged by her mother to take a cruise for the holidays, workaholic Everly tours the Amazon under the guidance of a charming naturalist who helps her discover that her relationships are more important than her career.

Return to Virgin River by Robyn Carr – A latest entry in the best-selling, faith-oriented series interweaves modern themes into traditional storylines in an original romance set in the fan-favorite rural community of Virgin River.

Goodnight Beautiful by Aimee Molloy – Eavesdropping on the therapy sessions her husband conducts for clients in a downstairs office, a lonely young bride finds her life and marriage turned upside down when her husband goes missing after welcoming a sophisticated new patient.

Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell – Suspended from work amid allegations of sexual misconduct, a virgin geography teacher is targeted by a sinister predator upon joining an online support group for the involuntarily celibate, before a therapist neighbor’s distraught patient goes missing.

A Time for Mercy by John Grisham – Court-appointed lawyer Jake Brigance puts his career and the safety of his family on the line to defend a 16-year-old murder suspect who is facing the death penalty. By the best-selling author of A Time to Kill.

A Song for the Dark Times: Inspector Rebus by Ian Rankin – A thrilling new Rebus novel, from a master of mystery, is about crime, punishment and redemption.

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse – A trilogy debut by the Nebula Award-winning author of Star Wars: Resistance Reborn is inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas and follows the unbalancing of the holy city of Tova amid a fateful solstice eclipse.

She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs by Sarah Smarsh – The National Book Award-finalist author of Heartland explores how the music of Dolly Parton and other prominent women country artists has both reflected and validated the harsh realities of rural working-class American women.

Attack Surface by Cory Doctorow – Working for a transnational cybersecurity firm while secretly helping high-paying troublemakers evade detection, a counterterrorism hacker is forced to acknowledge the consequences of her actions when one of her hacks puts loved ones in danger.

~Semanur

Virtual Book Club – Favorite Books with Dragons

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always loved dragons. Give me a book with a dragon in it, and I’ll devour it cover to cover. The Dragonriders of Pern books by Anne McCaffrey were probably my first introduction to dragons in ‘mature’ literature, and I instantly fell in love. If you, too, are a lover of all things draconic, or maybe even wished to have a pet dragon of your very own, check out some of my favorite fantasy novels featuring dragons! 

Click any of the book covers below to be taken to our catalog, where you can request a copy of the book with your library card number and PIN. I’ve also included links to our e-media services Overdrive and Hoopla where available. 

His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik catalog link

His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik – first book in the Temeraire series

Naomi Novik does not only pen fairy tales for adults – you may know her as the author of the witchy fairy tales Uprooted and Spinning Silver, but she got her start with an alternate universe history of the Napoleonic Wars. Her Temeraire series features an English Navy captain who accidentally bonds with a baby dragon and then must join the air force, where sentient dragons are employed as living airships.

His Majesty’s Dragon Overdrive link

A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan catalog link

A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan – first in the Memoirs of Lady Trent series

In Marie Brennan’s delightful Lady Trent series, a famous, distinguished scientist and lady of the peerage and pens her memoirs and recounts her humble beginnings as an ordinary young woman who discovers the long lost secrets and history of dragons. 

A Natural History of Dragons Overdrive link


Seraphina by Rachel Hartman catalog link

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman – first in the Seraphina series

In this inspired take on dragon lore, the dragons aren’t gigantic scaly fire-breathers – at least not all the time. They can transform into human-shape and are nearly indistinguishable from regular humans, which is why they are treated like second-class citizens by fearful humans. When a prince of the realm is murdered, seemingly by a dragon, our hero Seraphina must solve the mystery. This young adult series is a treat for teens and adults alike!

Seraphina Overdrive link

The Bone Ships by R. J. Barker catalog link

The Bone Ships by R. J. Barker – first in the Tide Child trilogy

In this grimly realist novel, two nations have been at war for as long as anyone can remember. They make sailing ships out of dragon bone, but their ships are disintegrating and no one has seen a dragon in hundreds of years. When a dragon is spotted far out to sea, the two nations must race to see who can capture the dragon and win the war. 

The Bone Ships Overdrive link

Dealing with Dragons by Patricia Wrede catalog link

Dealing with Dragons by Patricia Wrede – first in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles series

Yes, this one is a children’s book, but it’s so much fun! In this irreverent fairy tale, Princess Cimorene is bored with living in a castle and decides that she doesn’t want the traditional princess life of being pursued by the princes from surrounding kingdoms, so she runs away to live with a dragon.

Dealing with Dragons Overdrive link

Dealing with Dragons Hoopla link

If you’re a dragon lover like me, any of these books will scratch that dragon itch. Share your favorite dragon books in the comments below!

Make sure to join us next week for a very spooky installment of the virtual book club!

New Books Tuesday @RRPL

In this week’s special picks there are new exciting romance, mystery, adventure, and many more genres for you to choose from! Enjoy!

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik – An unwilling dark sorceress destined to rewrite the rules of magic clashes with a popular combat sorcerer while resolving to spare the lives of innocents. By the award-winning author of the Temeraire series.

The Constant Rabbit by Jasper Fforde – In an England populated with anthropomorphic rabbits and humans, one hare family moves into a cozy little village that does not want them there and are defended by two human neighbors who take a stand against prejudice.

Battle Ground by Jim Butcher – When the Last Titan, a being more dangerous than anything humanity has faced in a millennium, declares war on the city of Chicago, professional wizard Harry Dresden embarks on a defense that permanently transforms the mortal world.

The Gift of Family by Mary Monroe – A middle-aged couple who has never been able to have children and an elderly widow who maintains a grueling schedule to support her grandkids come up with a solution to help both families during the holiday season, with unexpected results.

Jack by Marilynne Robinson – A conclusion to the story that began with the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gilead traces the story of prodigal son John Ames Boughton, who pursues a star-crossed, interracial romance with a high school teacher who is also the son of a preacher.

Unrestricted Access by James Rollins – A first anthology of short fiction by the best-selling author of the Sigma series includes 11 previously published stories as well as a new full-length novella featuring Captain Tucker Wayne and his military war dog, Kane.

Christmas Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke – Firing up the Cookie Jar’s ovens to attend a lengthy holiday checklist, Hannah Swensen helps loved ones manage seasonal doldrums before she is challenged to identify a skilled antique restorer found near death outside her bakery.

The Orphan’s Guilt by Archer Mayor – When a man’s routine DUI defense reveals evidence of a years-old shaken-baby murder case, Joe Gunther and his Vermont Bureau of Investigation team peel back layers of history to uncover links to other deaths.

The Brightest Star by Fern Michaels – Writing biographies to support her family’s struggling Christmas shop, Lauren is assigned to pen the life story of a handsome and surprisingly intelligent online retailer mogul who has put hundreds of small companies out of business.

Happily This Christmas by Susan Mallery – An independent businesswoman and single mother offers support to her neighbor and secret crush during a holiday season shaped by a prickly daughter’s pregnancy, a painful secret, difficult past mistakes and an unexpected second chance at love.

Just Like You by Nick Hornby – Miserably married to a man with whom she once shared everything in common, Lucy forges an unexpected bond with her 22-year-old babysitter, a man from an entirely different class, culture and generation. By the best-selling author of About a Boy.

The Return by Nicholas Sparks – Moving into a family beekeeper cabin to recuperate from war injuries, an Afghanistan veteran falls in love with a guarded sheriff while working with a sullen local teen to investigate the mystery of a grandparent’s death. 1.5 million first printing.

Dreaming Death by Heather Graham – Sparring with a new partner who considers her underqualified, a rookie Krewe of Hunters agent uses her supernatural prophetic dreams to outmaneuver a killer who has been targeting vulnerable young women in Washington, D.C.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig – A new novel about all the choices that go into a life well lived. By the internationally best-selling author of Reasons to Stay Alive and How To Stop Time.

~Semanur

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

Here some of the new exciting releases for you to take a look at this week!

Rage by Bob Woodward – The author offers a second book of nonfiction on the Trump presidency. Rage, is an unprecedented and intimate tour the force of new reporting on the Trump presidency facing a global pandemic, economic disaster and racial unrest

Blackout: How Black America Can Make Its Second Escape from the Democrat Plantation by Candace Owens – Political activist and social media star Candace Owens explains all the reasons how the Democratic Party policies hurt, rather than help, the African American community, and why she and many others are turning right.

The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett – A prequel to the best-selling The Pillars of the Earth follows the experiences of a young boat-builder, a scholarly monk and a Norman noblewoman against a backdrop of the Viking attacks at the end of the 10th century in England.

Total Power by Vince Flynn & Kyle Mills – When an ISIS plot devastates America’s power grid, Mitch Rapp and his CIA team race to find the responsible cyber-terrorists to prevent the nation from succumbing to total collapse. By the best-selling author of Red War.

Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith – Written pseudonymously by the acclaimed author of the Harry Potter novels, a latest entry in the best-selling series that began with The Cuckoo’s Calling continues the high-stakes adventures of Cormoran Strike and his partner, Robin Ellacott.

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini – A space voyager living her dream of exploring new worlds lands on a distant planet ripe for colonization before her discovery of a mysterious relic transforms her life and threatens the entire human race.

The Killings at Kingfisher Hill by Sophie Hannah – Hired to discretely investigate murder allegations against a wealthy client’s wife, Hercule Poirot swaps seats with a nervous train passenger before a second killing is complicated by a series of impossible confessions.

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke – Living in a labyrinthine house of endless corridors, flooded staircases and thousands of statues, Piranesi assists the dreamlike dwelling’s only other resident throughout a mysterious research project before evidence emerges of an astonishing alternate world.

Chance of a Lifetime by Jude Deveraux & Tara Sheets – A series debut by the distinguished author of For All Time and the award-winning author of Don’t Call Me Cupcake finds a 19th-century thief atoning for misdeeds by convincing the present-day woman he loves to marry another.

Don’t Look for Me by Wendy Walker – The daughter of a woman who allegedly went missing by choice visits the small town where her mother was last seen to investigate unsettling witness accounts. By the author of Emma in the Night.

Murder Thy Neighbor by James Patterson with Andrew Bourelle & Max Dilallo – A bind-up of two true-crime thrillers includes Murder Thy Neighbor, depicting a man’s violent retaliation against a local who would protect property values; and Murder IRL, in which an isolated girl’s social-media war upends the target of her misguided affections.

The Home Edit Life: The No-Guilt Guide to Owning What You Want and Organizing Everything by Clea Shearer & Joanna Teplin – The stars of Home Edit outline holistic, tech-friendly approaches to rendering everyday work more productive and fulfilling through organization, offering customizable, guilt-free recommendations for everything from office spaces and holiday storage to luggage and pet supplies. TV tie-in.

Agent Sonya: Moscow’s Most Daring Wartime Spy by Ben McIntyre – The New York Times best-selling author of The Spy and the Traitor reveals the story of the female spy hidden in plain sight who set the stage for the Cold War—one of the last great intelligence secrets of the 20th century.

Stakes Is High: Life After the American Dream by Mychal Denzel Smith – Exposing the stark contradictions at the heart of American life, the New York Times bestselling author presents this important work in which he holds all of us accountable for looking away from the fissures and casual violence that are ever-present.

~Semanur

Reconnect@RRPL – TV Review

Avatar: The Last Airbender Poster

Avatar: The Last Airbender is an incredible series that I’ve watched twice. The three seasons have different feelings to them, with the second season being my overall favorite. The cast of characters in this series are memorable and layered with complexity. The world is very creative with the elements, spirits, cultures, and animals being well-developed. The only downside is that the series can be a bit immature at times. Overall, I think dealing with deeper topics with levity helps endear the audience further to these characters and to this world.

The series starts by explaining that there are four elements: water, earth, fire, and air. There is only one person who can control all 4 elements known as the Avatar. One hundred years before the events of the story, the Avatar disappeared. There were four nations based around benders (people with the ability to manipulate the elements), but the Fire Nation attacked and destroyed the Air Nation. We quickly learn within the series that the world has been struggling to avoid falling to the Fire Nation’s empire.

We’re introduced to Sokka (Jack De Sena) and Katara (Mae Whitman) as the two siblings feud. Eventually Katara waterbends at Sokka hitting an iceberg. The iceberg lights up and Aang (Zach Tyler) emerges unaware where or when he is. In the distance a Fire Nation ship is looking for the Avatar. When they see the light in the sky, Prince Zuko (Dante Basco) and Uncle Iroh (Mako) take it as a possible sign that they’ve found the Avatar.

I wouldn’t say this series is for everyone, but it’s certainly an expertly done animated series. Among reviewers and fans, there are few animated series that rival its praise. The different cultures displayed in the show are based off real cultures and this helps build a rich world. The characters at the start of the show seem very basic, but if you look around you’ll see article after article about the complex layers of the main cast. This show takes you on a journey in the traditional sense where the trip is more important than the destination. The destination is still very important, but many enjoy these characters so much they want to see them in comics and other media. Rated TV-Y7-FV.

Ryan